Dec 092008

I just received an email from eBay announcing that they are offering sellers of short auctions (1, 3, or 5 days) 50% off insertion fees tomorrow, December 10th.  Since the changes in their pricing structure (lowering insertion fees while increasing Final Value Fees) this isn’t nearly as good a deal as the free listing days of yore, but it’s still a nice way to earn a little extra holiday cash while simultaneously making space for all the new Christmas booty that will be arriving in a few weeks.

So, if you’re an eBay seller with a 12 month Detailed Seller Rating of 4.5 or higher on all criteria or a new seller who doesn’t yet have a DSR then be sure to drop by the eBay promotion page for full details and then start cleaning out those closets!

May 162008

No, I don’t mean I have nothing to sell, or that none of the items I’m offering are attracting bids. I’m talking about people that are selling (essentially) nothing – as in empty bags for crimminy’s sake! Take a look at some of the latest sales-

  • Empty Happy Meal Bag (pictured) – $113.50
  • Empty Fritos Bag – $560.00!!
  • Empty Olive Garden Bread-Stick Take Out Bag – $600.11

The Olive Garden bag was apparently the one that started this whole fiasco, but now is your chance to take advantage of it before it ends!

What’s that? You’ve never sold anything on eBay before? You’d have no idea how to even start? Well, then one of my sponsors is the perfect answer for your woes: iSold It

Here’s your step by step directions-

  1. Acquire an empty bag (food items seem to have the most popular bags)
  2. Visit your local iSold It location to drop off bag
  3. Wait for the check to arrive

Could it be any simpler?

And no, folx, this post is NOT a joke, funny though it may be (and I certainly hope it is). Those bags really did sell for those prices and iSold It really is a great company.
Sponsored by iSold It!

May 062008

eBay Received two intriguing emails from eBay this evening. The first isn’t nearly as exciting as eBay seems to think it is, but I figured I’d still pass on the info. The second will likely be of little use, but is mucho exciting so I’m sharing it as well.

The first email trumpeted in its subject line: Seller special! 50 cent max Fixed Price insertion fees.  Hrm…

Not nearly as exciting as March’s $0.01 insertion fees and nowhere near as good as the free listing days of old, but I guess it’s something.  X has a bunch of baby stuff she’s looking to clear out, so I may even find some use for this.  Full details, as always are on the eBay site itself, but essentially between Wednesday May 7 and Wednesday May 14 fixed price listings (aka Buy It Now or BIN listings)  won’t cost more than $0.50 as an insertion fee.  Normally listings starting below $10.00 are less than $0.50 anyway so this is only really a bonus for people looking to list lots of high-end items.  Still, it may be worthwhile for many.

The second email, is where the meat is…

eBay is finally starting a buyer reward program.  At this point it’s invitation only and I was selected as one of the lucky participants.  Boiled down to its simplest terms every time I buy something on eBay between May 15th and  August 14th (which could well be hundreds of transactions in my case) and pay formy purchases with PayPal eBay will credit my “rewards” account with 3% of my purchase.  Considering I was spending between$300 and $700 each month for the last six or so this could really add up to a fair amount of cash for me.

If you received one of these emails I strongly suggest you take advantage of it.  Even if you only buy a few things on eBay it’s basically free money – and that’s always a bonus!

Apr 132008

One of the longest running controversies on eBay has been that over auction sniping. For those who aren’t exactly sure what hunting a mythical creature has to do with bidding in online auctions here’s a definition I pulled from somewhere (sorry, can’t remember where)-

Sniping is the common practice of bidding on an auction by waiting until the last possible moment, then placing one bid in such a manner that other bidders do not have time to respond. The exact time at which a bid becomes a snipe has never, and probably can never, be precisely defined. I’ve heard anywhere from 3 seconds to 24 hours. Most of the sniper purists define a snipe as any bid under the 10-second mark, while most of the anti-snipers tend to be evenly split between defining it at 5 minutes or 10 minutes, although 1 hour is also popular.

Personal disclosure- I’m an on-again, off-again sniper myself. Over the 12 plus years I’ve been buying and selling miscellaneous garbage on eBay I’ve probably sniped about 25% of my total bids. I’ve been a committed manual sniper, steadfastly refreshing the auction screen in the last 60 seconds or so of n auction; and I’ve also used a number of automated sniping programs both downloaded and web-based. I can honestly say I’ve won auctions with a greater consistency (and at overall lower prices) with sniping then otherwise.

Here’s my latest proof. Over the last few months I’ve been primarily bidding in two arenas: Sambo’s Wooden Nickels and Metal Typer Tokens. Neither of these types of items has many other bidders interested in them. The Sambo’s wooden nickels have about a half-dozen regular bidders and they aren’t always bidding on each nickel posted. Competition is actually heating up in this area as the screenshot, above, shows. There were only four bidders on this lot of wooden nickels, yet 15 bids were cast. It’s the last few bids that I really want to focus on here.

When I returned home last night I realized this listing was going to close well before I awoke this morning. So, I checked out the current bids and decided on what I thought was both a fair and competitive price. At 11:32 I entered a bid of $13.05 – more than double the high bid at the time. When I did so the former high bidder got an email saying he’d been outbid and, as you can clearly see, came and re-bid. Not once, but five times. All this accomplished was pushing my bid higher and higher. Frustrated, tired, and fully aware that my opponent was currently keeping an eye on this listing I resorted to an online sniping service and set it to place an $18.05 bid in the closing seconds of the auction.

End result – I won the lot for $17.00. However, if I had not placed my 11:32 bid and instead gone directly to the sniping software I would have won the lot for $6.75. In other words, my failure to snipe cost me $11.25, or nearly twice as much. The only person happy about this result is the seller. He made almost three times more for his lot then he would have had I simply sniped in the first place.

Jan 012008

A few week’s back I shared Z’s first experience as an eBay seller. Well, today, she and I headed to a real life auction to experience the tradition first hand. I had received a flyer from Somerset Auctions a few days earlier announcing that they would be holding a New Year’s Day auction a mere block from my house. It seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.

Z and I arrived a few minutes before the preview period was to begin, signed up for our bidding paddle and started to peruse the large selection of items available. The bulk of the items were furniture, with a large selection of artwork (paintings, bronze sculptures, and porcelain trinkets), and a few lots of fine jewelry, luggage, and Persian rugs thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the auctioneer’s name, but he was both professional and entertaining as he worked his way through several hundred random lots. Apparently the holiday crowd in our small town wasn’t willing to invest as much as he expected on many items, so he would pepper his bid calling with lines like “You do realize you’re bidding on this antique Jade sculpture, right?” and similar queries to affirm what an amazing deal the current high bidder was about to walk away with.

The showpiece of the auction was an antique A. Schreiber baby grand piano that sold for a mere $2,500! Man I wish I had more expendable income (not to mention space in my house). There was some really cool art available as well that I would have loved to have hanging here in The Caverns, but with holiday and amusement park expenses I just didn’t have the expendable cash at hand despite the great deals.

Z seemed fascinated by the entire process, however, and we did each place a few bids though we didn’t really come very close to winning anything with our limited budget. She claims to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so perhaps we shall be attending future auctions as well. Maybe even with some extra cash to bring home a prize or two.